Quality-QC/QA: Industrial hygiene support
Quality control (QC) emphasizes the testing of products to uncover defects, while quality assurance (QA) attempts to improve and stabilize production to avoid or minimize the issues which could lead to the defects. Industrial hygiene services support QC/QA with scientific methods and data, including air and surface sampling, microscopic and chemical analyses of samples, results, conclusions and recommendations.
Examples of IHR support work include:
During a construction project in Boise, a rust residue appeared on some of the stainless steel railing used throughout the site. IHR analyzed the surface contamination using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and identified the residue and likely sources of the staining.
Carbon fibers and hot melt prepregs are manufactured for the aerospace industry and are used to add low-weight strength for structural members for helicopters, aircraft, satellites and sporting equipment. IHR used industrial hygiene air sampling and analytical methods to ensure that carbon fibers did not contaminate adjoining prepreg lines. Foreign object debris (FOD) concentrations of carbon fibers air contaminants were measured in air.
Microbial contamination and damage to tomato seedlings was a concern for a seed producer. IHR used industrial hygiene air sampling methods to measure concentrations of bacteria and fungi in air, surfaces and in water to document the source of the problem. Pseudomonas bacteria was found to be present in the water source and was identified as the issue. The industrial hygiene support helped the seed producer control the contamination and stabilize the growth and production of healthy seedlings.